Creating a STONE Text Effect in Corel Photo-Paint
by David Mutch, September, 2002

Here is a quick and easy way to create text engraved into stone.

1. Create a new image:
24-Bit RGB, white background, 500x300 pixels, 300 dpi.
2. Create some text in a thick square font such as Impact, at around 36 points or big enough to fill about 80% of the image width. The colour of the text is not important. Centre the text to the document.
3. Fill the Text with a stone texture.
Make sure the text object is selected then turn on Lock Transparency using the icon in the Object Docker. Change the fill type: double-click the Fill swatch on the Status Bar, choose the Bitmap Fill type and then click Edit to display the Bitmap Fill dialogue box. Click the Load.. Button. There are a great many nice tiles on the Core Draw Suite CDs you can use. Navigate to the Tiles/Stone folder on CD#3 of Corel Draw Suite versions 8, 9, 10 or 11, or CD#2 of CDGS 12, and select a nice stone tile. I like ROCKY.CPT, STONE07M, STONE11M, STONE12M, STONE17M, STONE27M and STONE28M. For the example here I have chosen STONE11M. Make sure ‘Use Original Size” is checked the press OK to change the fill to this type. Fill the Text using Edit Fill, the unlock the Object Transparency. (Fig 1 ->) 
4. Create a rough stone tablet shape.
Use the Freehand Mask Tool to create a roughly rectangular shape around the text. You need to create connected straight edges so just click, move the mouse, click again, move.... then double-click to complete the mask and join the two ends together. In the Objects Docker rename this object to ‘surface’ the reposition it below the text object. (Fig 2 ->).
5. Fill the mask shape with a stone texture.
Create a new Object (Object > Create > New Object) and then reposition tis new object below the text in the Object Docker. Choose Edit > Fill again (the current Bitmap Fill should still be selected, then click the Edit button. This time, change the Transform(Skew and Rotate) and Row/Column Offset settings a bit so that the texture I shifted somewhat from the previous setting. This is because this section of the stone will be at a slightly different level than the text and the grain of the rock usually changes at different levels. I used: skew:15, rotate:7, Row = 20% of Tile side. Click OK twice to fill the mask shape. Remove the mask (CTRL+SHIFT+R).

(Fig 3 -> Here I have selected the text object and turned on the Object Marquee so the text shape is visible against the stone surface).

6. Boss the text.
Select the text object and create a mask from it (CTRL+M). Then choose the Boss Effect (Effects > 3D Effects > The Boss). The actual settings you use will depend on the size of your text and the precise effect you wish to produce. Its probably best to use a Flat Drop Off and a low level of Smoothness as we want this yo look like chiselled rock. The settings I used were:
Width = 8, Height = 15, Smoothness = 16, Drop Off = Flat, Invert = checked, Brightness = 72, Sharpness = 16, Direction = 138 and Angle = 58. If you want this to look even more pronounced, the repeat the Boss effect again (as I did here) (Fig 4 ->).
7. Create some chip marks.
This helps make the stone surface looked chipped from the rough engraving process.
Select the ‘surface’ object the create a mask from it (CTRL+M). Turn on the Mask Overlay (Mask > Mask Overlay) and the part of the image outside the mask turns pink/red (unless you have changed the overlay colour in the Options). Now select the Mask Brush tool and change the mode on the Property bar to Subtractive. Choose a soft brush, nib size 10-20 pixels wide and paint over parts of the stone surface to remove them from the mask. Only remove parts around the text object, not over it. Alter the brush nib size occasionally until you have a random bunch of strokes over the surface (Fig 5 ->).
8. Boss the stone surface.
We also need to apply a 3D effect to the chipped stone surface but we need to make a few changes. Choose the Boss Effect again and adjust the settings to: Width = 15, Height = 35, Smoothness = 0, Drop Off = Flat, Invert = checked, Brightness = 72, Sharpness = 16, Direction = 138, Angle = 45. Press OK then turn off the Mask Overlay (and Mask Marquee if it is also on) to see the result. If you really want a hard chiselled effect here you can increase the height or repeat the effect a second time (not done here) (Fig 6 ->).

Add a weathered texture.
Remove the mask (CTRL+SHIFT+R).
For Photo-Paint 9 + users, add the texture using Effects > Texture > Stone. Either Asphalt or Concrete are good, but you need to increase both the Roughness and the Detail to 80-90 each. Then press OK. For Photo-Pant 8 users yo can make the surface look a little rougher by adding some Noise.

Repeat the effect on the Text object by selecting it and then using Effects > Repeat > Last Effect, or CTRL+F. (Fig 7 ->).

10. Better blending.
The intersection between the text and the stone surface still looks too distinct and false. It needs to be blurred a little. Select the text object then use Object > Feather. Set the Width = 4 and the Edges = Linear. Press OK. (Fig 8 ->).
11. To save the image as a GIF or JPEG, use File > Export.  

To have the text looking like it has been chiselled INTO the stone surface, simply reverse the direction of the light in the Boss dialogue box when applying it to the text.

(Fig 9 ->).


To make a stone tablet, repeat all the steps above but use variation 1 to engrave the text into the stone. Use a higher level of Smoothness for the Boss effect on the tablet. Duplicate the tablet and move the duplicate under the original but offset it below and to the right. Darken the lower copy using Image > Adjust > Gamma. Feather the edges of the upper copy a little then combine all the objects together (not the background). Use Perspective Transformation to change the shape of the combined object. Use a mild Sand Displacement (Effects > Distort > Displace) to wrinkle the edges of the Tablet a little then feather it again slightly. Add a drop shadow and a background.

(Fig 10 ->).

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